A new era for the historic Glennland Building in downtown State College will begin early next year.
Scholar Hotel Group announced on Friday that its newest property will open in the 87-year-old building at 205 E. Beaver Ave. in January 2021.
Scholar Hotel State College will include 72 extended-stay rooms, 1,250 square feet of meeting space, a fitness center, self-service business center and lobby marketplace. It also will feature a bistro called Social Food & Drink offering a full-service bar with specialty cocktails and small plate menu items.
King and queen-sized guest rooms will have free WiFi and large work areas. Each suite will include a kitchen with refrigerator, dishwasher, cooktop or oven, microwave and cabinets.
The hotel will be part of Hilton’s Tapestry Collection of upscale independent hotels.
“Scholar Hotel State College is the perfect destination for Penn State Athletics fans, families visiting their students, or those coming to State College on business,” Ryan Saal, Area General Manager for Scholar Hotel Group, said in a news release. “Our hotel is conveniently located within a block of campus with easy access to everything Downtown State College has to offer and will provide our guests with the utmost in comfort, regardless of whether you are staying for one night or a few months.”
Constructed in 1933 by builder O.W. Houts and physician Dr. Grover Glenn, the Glennland Building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. For 40 years, it was the tallest building in State College and was home to the area’s first public elevator and first indoor swimming pool.
According to Scholar Hotel Group, the history of the building will be recognized throughout the hotel lobby.
The Glennland was owned by the Campbell family since a few years after it opened, first by Judge R. Paul Campbell, who passed it down to his children and grandchildren. It most recently rented apartments to graduate and undergraduate students and office space to commercial and professional tenants. Professional offices will continue to be located in the basement area.
In 2017, co-owner Nancy Campbell Slagle said that her family had made significant investments to maintain the building over the years, but found the costs to fend off further deterioration and, ultimately, obsolescence would be prohibitive.
After one sale fell through in 2018, Scholar Hotel Group acquired the building in 2019 and has since performed extensive renovations. A subsidiary of Ardmore-based Real Estate Capital Management LLC, which developed the Fraser Centre in State College. Other Scholar Hotels are located in Syracuse, N.Y., and Morgantown, W.Va.
Scholar’s plans for the building were a driver in State College and Centre County adopting a tax abatement program aimed at revitalizing instead of demolishing historic properties in the downtown. The Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) ordinance applies a graduated increase on tax payments for the value of improvements made to about two dozen aging buildings. The property owner continues to pay taxes on the assessed value of the building before rehabilitation, but has a phased implementation of taxes on the increased value created by the improvements.
Gary Brandeis, president and founder of Scholar Hotels, said at the time that rehabilitating older buildings involves financial risks and uncertainty that make it challenging for developers to move forward
State College Area School District, which accounts for the largest part of property taxes, voted against adopting the LERTA.